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Our Blog

Going Local // Local Searches, Google My Business, and You

Posted by Sparkfactor

Jul 18, 2016 9:00:00 AM

"OK, Google. Where's the closest Thai restaurant?"

"...Who does the best import luxury car service in Chicago?"

"...Where can I get a neck massage in the Loop?"

When you ask your smartphone questions like these, you hope for a well-chosen list of nearby businesses. The results of that search depend entirely on information brought to the web by individual users - both customers and marketers. According to a Google study, four out of five users search locally, meaning people are searching when and where they want to buy - from a specific street to an entire city. If you're marketing a brick-and-mortar business, you're probably held accountable for being (or not being) on page one. Before you do anything else, take this one simple step to getting on top of search.

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Topics: Google Maps Business, Social Media, Restaurants, Community, Local Marketing

People Never Really Stop Loving Books // Google Business View

Posted by Sparkfactor

Oct 9, 2014 11:00:00 AM

"Books. People never really stop loving books."

This quote is uttered by a time-traveler who, at the time, is in the Fifty-First century on a planet called The Library. While The Doctor from BBC's Doctor Who needs his space-traveling TARDIS to explore library-planets, you can discover the futuristic-looking Niles Public Library from the comfort of your home using Google's Business View.

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Topics: Google Maps Business, Google Maps Business View Photography, Education, Community

Teach Me How To Hot Dougie // Sparkfactor Stories From Hot Doug's

Posted by Sparkfactor

Oct 3, 2014 3:03:00 PM

Today, Chicago says goodbye to one of the most popular restaurants in the city: Hot Doug’s. While die-hard fans are lining up to say farewell, Sparkfactor bids adieu from the comforts of our office by asking our team to share their stories of Hot Doug’s.

The first time I ever ate at Hot Doug's was Christmas Eve in 2008. I was a little intimidated by all the crazy sausages so I went with the classic Chicago Hot Dog. I wasn't really sure what the big deal was with this strange restaurant in an offbeat location over on California and Belmont. I had always heard about this monster line, but there was no significant line at all... it started inside the restaurant... you know like most places during lunch. On the way out I noticed the comedian Patton Oswald in the line. Pretty cool.

Since that first visit in 2008, I visited Doug’s on a number of occasions. I got to know Doug a little bit and he generously sponsored our co-ed 16 inch softball team, The Hot Doug's Dougouts. I got to introduce a few first-timers (including Dr. Dave) and I got to try their awesome sausages and duck fat fries. Everything I ever ate there was awesome! The strangest thing about me and Hot Doug’s is that I never waited in line very long.... there just never seemed to be a line when I went.

Hot Doug’s really is a classic Chicago hot dog joint. I applaud Doug for running an awesome restaurant and doing things HIS WAY. Glad I could be a part of it and I wish him all the best on whatever the future holds! - Kate

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Topics: #InspiredBy, Community